The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, during its August meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, elected a new Chair and Vice Chair for the 2012-2013 Council year. Doug Boyd of Texas, who was appointed to the Council in 2010, was elected Chair.
"I am honored to be elected to a leadership role with the Gulf Council. This next year presents many challenges for the Council. We must continue working to end overfishing, rebuild and enhance fish stocks, streamline the public's access to safe, quality, affordable Gulf Seafood, secure and enhance vital fish habitat, and further recreational fishing opportunities. The Gulf of Mexico is a diverse ecosystem that provides great socioeconomic benefit to not only the Gulf Coast, but to the entire Nation, and it should be managed for the benefit of all," said Boyd.
Kevin Anson, with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Marine Resources Division and designee for Chris Blankenship, the Departments Director, was elected Vice-Chair.
"I look forward to serving on the Council as Vice-Chair, and I am excited to assist the Council throughout its process of developing management strategies to restore fish stocks," said Anson.
In addition to the elections, Dr. Roy Crabtree, Regional Administrator of NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office, conducted the investiture ceremony for five new and returning members to the Gulf Council.
Corky Perret of Mississippi was appointed as an at-large member. Perret previously served as a designee from the Mississippi Department of Natural Resources. Harlon Pearce from Louisana, was reappointed to his at-large seat, and John "Johnny" Greene from Alabama was also reappointed. New Council members include Campo Matens of Louisiana, and Juan "John" Sanchez of Florida.
Dale Diaz from the Mississippi Department of Natural Resources will now serve as the designee for William Walker, Executive Director. Lieutenant Commander Jason Brand will represent the U.S. Coast Guard as designee for RADM Mary Landry.
These new council members, along with their colleagues, will help shape the science-based management of U.S. fisheries and continue the strong commitment to turning the corner on ending overfishing, rebuilding fish stocks, and achieving and maintaining sustainable fisheries and vibrant fishing communities. Council membership represents a diverse spectrum of interests and expertise - from commercial and recreational fishing industries, to environmental interests.